Day Care Attendance Seems to Protect Against The Development of Atopy

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Mar 18 – Among children with atopic parents, the protective effect of day care attendance in the first year of life against the development of atopy begins by 2 years of age, according to a report in the March issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
Dr. Juan C. Celed n, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and colleagues studied the association between day care attendance or respiratory tract illnesses in early life and wheezing and asthma in the first 4 years of life among children who have a parental history of atopy.

The researchers observed an inverse association between day care attendance in the first year of life and the geometric mean total serum IgE level at 2 years (12.9 IU/mL for day care attendance versus 18.5 IU/mL for no day care; p = 0.03). However, day care attendance was not associated with wheezing at or after 2 years of age.

"Having at least one physician-diagnosed lower respiratory tract illness in the first year of life was significantly associated with recurrent wheezing (odds ratio [OR], 2.0) and asthma (OR, 2.5) at 4 years of age, but not with any wheezing (infrequent and frequent) at 3 years or older," the investigators explain.

They found an association between upper respiratory tract illnesses in early life and frequent or infrequent wheezing between the ages of 1 and 4 years. There was no association with recurrent wheezing or asthma at 4 years of age.

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